First-person reports from the stands
Choice of game
There was no way I was going to miss the one-day debut of my home ground in Pune.
I was hoping India would score 400+ and skittle out Australia for under 100. To say things didn't go according to plan would be an understatement.
George Bailey was busy at the wicket, going past fifty in no time.
One thing I'd have changed
Everyone knows how hard it is to be a cricket fan in India. The authorities take you for granted and even basic facilities are not available at some venues. At the Pune stadium, only one stand had a roof over it. We also had to pay for drinking water, which they ran out of during the innings break. So after sitting in the sun for nearly five hours, the spectators had to remain thirsty for most of the second innings.
Face-off I relished
It looked like Mitchell Johnson wanted to prove a point to Rohit Sharma, his Mumbai Indians captain, for not picking him for the Champions League final last week. Johnson bowled him two lethal 153kph bouncers in the fifth over, which Rohit just managed to get out of the way of. But as always is the case with Johnson, he followed it up with a loose ball around off stump, and Rohit drove it for a boundary.
After failing twice, the crowd finally got the Mexican wave right in the 32nd over and it resulted in some ear-splitting noise. Perhaps it was this noise that caused the run-out confusion between Adam Voges and Bailey.
Shot of the day
James Faulkner's 27 helped Australia get past 300. He smashed consecutive length balls from Vinay Kumar over cow corner for sixes. The first one was not that well timed and just went over the fence. But the moment he hit the second one, you knew it was gone. It nearly cleared the stadium.
The stands were nearly full. There was a lot of excitement around the ground before the start of play. The loudest cheer was reserved for ex-Pune Warriors captain and comeback man Yuvraj Singh, when he came out to bat. But it was Johnson who interacted with and entertained the crowd the most. People in the stand behind where he was fielding were imitating his every move, be it the stretching of arms or his bowling action, and Johnson was happy to egg them on.
I had a ghost mask, which I wanted to wear to scare Shane Watson. But he was too chicken to field anywhere near my stand.
Marks out of ten
7. An Indian win would have been ideal, but the Aussies played better cricket. They batted with freedom on a two-pace wicket, their bowlers took wickets at crucial stages, and in field it looked as if they had not 11 but 13 people on the park.
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